Sunday, February 19, 2012
Senior Living: New Westminster Manor building feels more like hotel than 'nursing home' By: Nicole Villalpando AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF Westminster Manor's new Windsor Building is like walking into a hotel: a front desk for greeting residents and guests, well-appointed sitting areas sprinkled about and soothing earth tones of beige, brown, copper and green that run throughout the design. What it doesn't feel like is a "nursing home." And in reality, it's not. The Windsor Building's five stories provide three levels of care under one roof: 75 independent living apartments, 85 skilled nursing rooms with 30 skilled nursing rooms for memory care, and 22 assisted living apartments. The 203,000 square-foot-center is roughly next door to the original 294,000 building on Jackson Avenue that has provided care for seniors since 1967. By next year, the two Westminster Manor buildings will be united by the Westminster Commons with an indoor pool, exercise room and yoga studio, walking loop, cafe and new auditorium. Designer Adrienne Faulkner of the Faulkner Design Group took great care to create an upscale, homelike environment for the new building, which opened at the end of January. She says she wanted it to be "warm and welcoming, like the people." Faulkner is the granddaughter of architect George Dahl, who created many of the buildings at the University of Texas. Faulkner wanted the Windsor Building to reflect its connection to UT, both in the people who live there and its closeness to campus. She went through her grandfather's papers and scrapbooks and found architectural renderings and drawings of some of the buildings at UT that Dahl designed. She had those works framed, and they now hang along the hallways in the Windsor Building. Faulkner says she also chose materials that would wear well and not look dated. The design, she says, is meant to be classic and eclectic. The design also had to work with the regulations and guidelines for senior living that take into consideration factors like diminished eyesight and mobility. In the areas that will be used for skilled nursing and memory care, those guidelines especially had to be enveloped while not giving the center the feel of a hospital.
Crossnore Group, LLC
So, though nurses stations are necessary in the memory care, skilled nursing and assisted living areas, the stations look more like hotel concierge desks. Rooms and bathrooms still have medical equipment, yet the design doesn't allow that equipment to look out of place visually. In the memory care area, rooms, which are all private, feature a bed, night stand, dresser and closet, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower. The rooms spill out into living areas that try to model a home living area with upholstered chairs and sofas, side tables and coffee tables. The dining room is set up with tables that allow wheelchair access. Linen tablecloths and elegant plates are set for dinner. A "country kitchen" is by the dining area. This will allow residents to get things from the fridge or allow a nurse to cook a simple meal for a resident who has his or her days and nights confused. Behind the kitchen is the commercial kitchen for the food staff. The memory care residents also have a multipurpose room for crafts. Upstairs, skilled nursing and assisted living areas have a set-up similar to that of the memory care area. The skilled nursing living room is divided by a double-sided fireplace. A therapy center includes a fitness center, a walk or roll-in hydrotherapy tub, a doctor's office and a kitchen for teaching independent-living skills to patients in rehabilitation after things such as strokes. A beauty parlor feels like a regular salon with stations for getting hair washed, colored and cut and a place for manicures. The rest of the building is filled with the 75 independent living apartments. Like any upscale apartment, the homes feature full kitchens with granite counters and backsplashes, and wood cabinets with pulls. The bathrooms are cultured marble counters and backsplashes, wood cabinets with pulls, some tubs, but mostly walk-in showers. The living rooms feature balconies overlooking the hills to the west or downtown and UT to the southeast. The bedrooms feature large windows to allow plenty of light, and the master suite offers a large walkin closet. The apartments come in one, two- and three-bedroom floor plans ranging from 840 square feet to 1,671 square feet. Westminster Manor offers two types of financial plans at the Windsor Building. The Standard Plan for apartments has an entry fee of from $218,533 to $486,379 depending on the size of the apartment. The Return of Capital Plan's entry fee ranges from $437,066 to $972,758. Each have monthly fees of $3,109 to $6,112 per person. The Return of Capital Plan allows the resident or the resident's estate to receive 90 percent of the entry fee back when the resident no longer lives there. The monthly fees stay the same as the resident needs to move from independent living to assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care, with only minimal annual increases.
Crossnore Group, LLC
Senior Living: New Westminster Manor building feels more like hotel than 'nursing home'